The Slightly Confused Woodworker

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I’m back (not really)


Around 18 months, I decided to leave the world of woodworking blogs. When I made that choice, I also made my reasons clear. I will say it again and repeat myself in the process: Woodworking blogs are no longer about woodworking; they are political sound boards and SJW op eds. I did not want to be associated with that nonsense then, and I still don’t today. There were other reasons as well, but none so compelling.

Hell, maybe things have changed, but I doubt it, and I don’t care enough to look.

But, since I haven’t been blogging, I also haven’t been woodworking as often, and that has bothered me. My furniture making tools in many ways have become carpentry tools, and I am thankful for that because they are still very useful. My latest projects have all been homeowner related: installing a new attic door and trim, framing and trimming out for new attic windows, and most recently, converting my daughter’s bunk bed into a single, which was fun because I did it all with a hand saw, a chisel, and a cordless drill. But I hadn’t considered making any new furniture, that is until this past Saturday.


This past Saturday a local historic home was having a Colonial Fair (Colonial in the sense that its theme was mid-18th century America). The area of Pennsylvania where I live is rich in Colonial history, so these events are a pretty common occurrence in the region. Saturday was a nice day, and the fair was less than 10 minute drive away, so I decided to take my daughter to check it out. To make a long story short, I ended up at the Joiner’s tent, where a woodworker was demonstrating box making. He was very talented; I would mention his name but I don’t feel comfortable in doing so, nonetheless,  his demonstration also included many nice examples of hardware, hinges, and colonial period locks that he makes. Not only that, he is also a very talented Windsor Chair builder. I ended up speaking with him for more than 30 minutes, and he genuinely seemed to enjoy the conversation. It got to the point that my daughter, who is much more patient than I was at her age, was tugging my arm, and I certainly didn’t want to monopolize the man’s time. It ended up being the nicest woodworking conversation I’ve had in a long time.

And, as often happens when speaking with a talented person, I picked up several nice ideas just by checking out his work. One of which was lining the interior/lids of small boxes and chests with period newspapers, which is right up my alley considering that one of my geeky hobbies is creating documents using authentic Colonial fonts and ‘laid’ style parchment paper.

So I would like to thank this ‘mystery’ woodworker for his time, and mostly for inspiring me to start making furniture again. For the first time in what seems like forever the topic of woodworking didn’t leave me wanting to throw my tools into a ravine; I’ll take that as a victory.



  1. I recommend you don’t read the Seller fella latest blog. Apparently it’s throwing everybody into a hissy fit. I guess once you blog about cutting perfect dovetails, you run out of things to talk about.

    • billlattpa says:

      I don’t think I’ve read a woodworking blog since last summer. I don’t plan on starting anytime soon.
      They used to be fun and sometimes you may have even picked up some useful info, but not anymore. Damn shame really.

  2. James A E Franklin says:

    I have missed you. My son attended a famous UK school. I remember the Headmaster giving a talk to the new parents. Intelligence was defined as having many and varied interests, passions really. That is why I miss reading your blog. Tomorrow my wife is taking a lady from California to see legal London, where my son is a barrister, and later Evensong at The Temple Church which is at the heart of Inner Temple.

    (see if you are interested).

    We on this side of the pond look with affection across the water and have an interest in what you are doing, and thinking. For me, I am making a new front door in oak to fit in with the style of the new extension (which is over 200 years old) so the design took some thinking about!

    Hope we hear from you again before too long.

    • billlattpa says:

      Thanks for the nice comment and the link.
      I actually have been woodworking a bit, just not like I had been 4 or 5 years ago. I would like to start documenting my projects again, so hopefully that will lead to a few blog posts every month instead of a few per year.

      Thanks again!

  3. For what little it’s worth, I would really like it if you blogged more. There are those of us out here who are craving to read from “familiar minded” folk. And I’ll be honest, Im sick of this neutral stance middle of the road opinion that so many take so they don’t lose customers (sorry readers). I want someone to speak out.

    • billlattpa says:

      Thank you. I am considering it. The main issue I have with starting up again on a regular basis is the woodworking I am currently doing.
      I have been in the process of some home renovation project etc. And while there may be some interesting woodworking there to us hardcore guys, it doesn’t necessarily make the most interesting writing.

      One of the main sources I used to use was woodworking magazines and blogs, and I no longer read either. They have completely turned me off…but I do plan on writing again at least a little.

      Thanks again!

  4. bloksavJonas says:

    Hi Bill

    Great to read that you had a fine day at the fair.
    Lining a box with newspaper sounds interesting.

    Best regards

    • billlattpa says:

      Hi Jonas! The fair was a nice time. This time of year there is usually a similar style fair happening every weekend at some historic location or another. I wish I could go to more.
      I should have taken some photos of the chest and box interiors, they looked really cool. I have hundreds of reproduction documents that I’ve made using colonial fonts and laid paper, so now I just have to make a small box or two and line the interiors with those documents.
      Hopefully I will get to write a post about it.

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